KNOXVILLE, Tennessee — 20 apartments were evacuated overnight after a bathroom vent fan caught fire at The Retreat at West Hills Apartments, the Knoxville Fire Department said early Thursday.
Fire crews responded to the incident around 2:30 a.m. First, they evacuated the building that had the alarm and then found the cause of the fire-- a bathroom vent fan that was burning and had set fire to part of the attic in an upstairs unit, KFD said.
Crews were able to contain the fire to the bathroom and the attic area above it before extinguishing the fire. 19 of the 20 apartments were able to return back to their homes within an hour of crews arrival, according to KFD. No injuries were reported.
The four occupants of the affected unit are being assisted by the complex manager, KFD said.
KFD provided this safety tip to the public to help avoid fires like this one.
"Safety tip: often these bathroom vent fans will collect dust. Continuous use of these vent fans along with the dust they collect can cause the ball bearings to cake up, creating friction and heat. These fans should be cleaned regularly and never left running continuous."